That's a pretty cool picture. I will admit I might have gotten a few goose bumps when all those guys got together before the game at Safeco Field.
It was special day having Randy Johnson throwing out the first pitch. He did an extended meeting with the press before the game.
I didn't get to post some of his comments from that gathering since the game started. But I wrote this story about it for the paper. Of course, I didn't get everything that I wanted into that story. In fact, in the press conference, there were about six or seven questions asked and Johnson talked for almost 40 minutes.
So I figured I would throw in a few highlights and two more attempts at video -- Scorcese I am not. I think my video quality is somewhere along the lines of the Blair Witch Project or the TV show Cheaters.
Never miss a local story.
But here is Johnson talking about what he learned in his time in Seattle
I got the foundation of that and a lot of other teams got to benefit from that. I continued to go on and learn more in other areas, but for nine years or however long I was here, I really kind of learned how to pitch and came into my own.
On his decision to retire …
"I just started seeing writing on the wall. Being an athlete and seeing other athletes in other sports, I've been able to watch how other athletes have handled retirement. People talking about maybe he should have retired. The last three years of my career, last two with Diamondbacks I went through two back surgeries in less than a year. I got through '08 and made 30 starts, and I felt I could still pitch. I went to the Giants, eight wins away from 300. There was something in front of me that's never really been in front of me as an athlete - an objective.
Who would have known - some of the reporters that covered me, would you have ever thought I was a candidate for 300 game? When it was in front of me, I felt I owed it to myself and everywhere I've been to try to do that.
The bottom line is that after last year, and injuring my back and my shoulder. And my kids, two of them were born in Seattle, they're teenagers now, I don't want to miss any more than I already have. I've had a nice career. That's the half of my life. Now I want to do other things and hopefully have as much fun along the way.Here's some comments about his former teammates as influences on him ...
I've had the pleasure of playing with the greatest shortstop I've ever played with. A few of you remember Chris Bosio's no-hitter. I'm sitting on the bench and the last out of the game is a high chopper over the pitcher's mounds and Omar Vizquel bare-hands it and makes the last out for Chris to throw his no-hitter - kind of unheard of. I would have like to have seen him maybe field it with his glove. But I've seen him countless times do that. I 'm honored to have played withsomeone that great.
To see Junior. The catch he makes on the center field wall like he's spider man. Guess who was on the mound that game? Unfortunately, he broke his wrist that day. The ball he caught over the wall at Yankee Stadium - that would have been the second home run I gave up that day to Jesse Barfield. I watched Junior grow up and play.
I watched Edgar. I've pitched against a lot of Hall of Fame hitters. Edgar is probably the best right-hand hitter that I've ever seen or played with. He carried his bat around all the time like a pitcher carries his glove around. In the Kingdome, he would have a little scale where he would weigh his bats down to the fraction. That's how meticulous he was. And it paid off it what we saws him do. I feel just as honored to play with an Omar, a Junior and a Edgar, who were the elite. They were the elite and will go down that way. It was as much fun for me to be a part of that as being part of it. I was enjoyed watching this stuff as well.On the No. 51 and it possibly being retired ..
51 has meant a lot to me. I remember in Arizona, Joe Garagiola pulled me over and said, Ichiro wanted to know if I would mind if he could wear my number. I said I have no problem with that. No. 51 is probably more recognizable now with all his success and all the greatness he has done.
I had it for a little while and Ichiro has had it for how many years he has had it. He's one of those players, who makes it look easy. There are a lot of expectations put on him not only here and back in Japan. He's a great player. I'm assuming when his time is up and he retires from baseball, I'm assuming that that number will be retired here in Seattle because it's Ichiro's number.Here is his response on the people's perception of him during his last season with the Mariners.